Vast majority of Britons believe criminalising drugs is futile

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A significant majority of British voters believe the UK’s 50-year “war on drugs” has been futile, with new polls showing six in 10 people believing that making drugs illegal can help people. An ineffective way is to stop using them.

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The findings of the survey, conducted by YouGov, are consistent across the political spectrum, with less than a quarter of all respondents believing that criminalizing the use of a drug is an effective way to curb its consumption.

It rose to 28 percent among Tory voters and fell to 20 percent among Labor voters. Accordingly, 59 percent and 67 percent considered criminalization ineffective.

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However, when further pressured, a majority of voters supported the level of criminalization – 36 percent advocated treating drugs as a health and criminal issue equally, 28 percent insisting only for health, And 24 percent consider them only a criminal case. .

In response to a damning independent review in which England’s cash-starved drug treatment system is “not fit for purpose” and urged ministers to recognize “that addiction is a chronic health condition”, the government recently ” A comprehensive, whole-system approach to combating drugs” and a new cross-government Drugs Unit have been established.

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But despite moves to involve health officials in its drug response, the government is intensifying its draconian approach to drug policy, with Home Secretary Priti Patel reportedly asking police forces to “set an example” on the recreational drug. A new action on the use of drugs has been ordered. “Start out of middle class cocaine users and “more drug tests on arrest.”

As drug-related deaths hit their highest level for the eighth year in a row in England and Wales, with the majority of fatalities linked to opiates, the Home Office is also considering whether to criminalize possession of nitrous oxide, which Also called laughing gas.

The government cited a “concerning” increase in drug use among young people. But data from the Office for National Statistics shows that consumption is actually at 2013 levels, but has remained constant for the past four years.

Echoing the analysis of experts who called for “smart education, not blunt regulation”, YouGov found that people in the UK largely believe laughing gas is less harmful than both alcohol and tobacco, and 12 drugs cause the least harm to any of the societies. listed.

On the wider issue of criminalization, YouGov’s findings also line the UK population with the government’s longstanding approach to drug use, and in line with consensus among experts, many of whom argue that the 50-year-old Abuse Drugs Act There is a need for a radical change.

Despite laws aimed at preventing the consumption of drugs by those who use them, criminalize both the consumption of illicit drugs and the associated harm sky touched In the 50 years since its introduction.

The illegal drug trade is now estimated to cost the UK some £19bn per year, and – according to a Home Office-commissioned review – has “never caused more harm to society”, police efforts not only to stop supplies Rather often have failed to refuel. Increased violence in a market that now includes “unprecedented” numbers of children.

As a result, support for a shift towards de-criminalization or regulation of drugs is widespread among individual regions and political groups.

as reported by Granthshala In 2019, several of the UK’s leading drug treatment providers have urged the government to consider de-criminalizing drugs to reduce drug-related deaths, while the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s drugs lead, Jason Harwin, said in the past. Sal told this paper that he believed in the question. There is “a debate we should have here” on whether to regulate drugs in the UK.

some police forces already gone To unofficially prevent the criminalization of some people for drug possession, instead taking those with small amounts of drugs for treatment and support. The government’s £28m new Project ADDER pilot – “Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery” – involves expanding diversion plans, but the Home Office has also said it expects police chiefs to enforce the law .

To the north of the border, the Lord Advocate for Scotland recently moved to allow police forces there to do so, making Class A drugs under the UK’s Drugs Abuse Act completely non-criminal. freed, which experts say Prevents comprehensive reforms.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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